About the Rotary Club of Mbarara

Our History

The Rotary Club of Mbarara enjoys a unique experience of having been formed by a predominantly non-Rotarian group of Ugandans.

In the middle of 1984,a number of prominent Rotarians from the Rotary club of Kampala West requested Hon. John M. Ntimba to explore the possibility of looking for prospective Rotarians in Mbarara with a view of starting a club in the town.

The proposal was welcome. However, the handicap Hon. John M. Ntimba and most of his colleagues who were entrusted with such a Job was that of a dual task of initially educating them selves about Rotary before embarking on the task of spreading its gospel in an area where its aims and objectives were hardly known. With the exception of P.P. Jotham Tumwesigye who enriched their first fellowships with his Jinja experience, the rest of the charter members were alien to Rotary.

To compensate for lack of experience, the sponsoring club - the Rotary club of Kampala sent some of its members frequently to guide them in the unknown world. This was at the time when the number of clubs in the country were still few and located far from one another and communication from them was limited.

In August 1984 the Charter members were lucky to be visited by the District Governor of the then District 921 P.D.G. Amu Shah who who did alot to add to their learning effort. Within a month, the required number of members and classifications had already been put in place. It was a good gathering of a variety of interests and represented across section of Mbarara Municipality. A resolution was passed and the provisional Rotary Club was formally formed.

The main task of the provisional Club was to prepare itself for chartering. No doubt this was a challenging experience. The club operated in an area where the Rotary Movement, its aims and objectives were unknown. It was not unusual for one to be told by members of the community that the populace ragarded Rotary to be a body of rich people with enough money to squander and afford the luxuries of sumptuos lunches and dinners and travel to distant lands for conferences. Many members of the public wondered as to wether there was anything "to eat" from Rotary indeed, toda`s "scrath for cash" enthusiasts would have engaged themselves in scampering to buy LOTTERY Tickets from the Charter members!

A particulary difficult task for the charter members was that of maintaining membership. This was caused, inter - alias, by the following:

a) The existence of large number of persons with similar clasifications which compelled the club members to be selective in the process of members.

b) The availability of prospective members with very limited time unable to join in fellowships or make-ups.

c) Persons whose financial resources could not allow them to participate in the Rotary activities effectively.

d) A decline in enthusiam amongst prospective Rotarians arising from disillusionment about monetary and material benefits erroneously expected from the Rotary movenment.

e) Existence of professional Rotarians engaged in the public service but who were liable to be transferred to other parts of Uganda sooner or later.


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